Here’s my basic account of new Dual Sport bikes to consider…
2019 KTM 690 ENDURO R
Top Pick and best of both worlds Enduro/Adventure: KTM 690 Enduro R.
Just three pounds heavier than a stock DRZ 400 (322lbs) and twice the Horsepower (uncorked 74hp)

If a new 2019 could be had with the KTM employee program it would have been a no question purchase. They are slightly larger and heavier than my 500 EXC-F but you can actually highway with these. Quick shifter, Dirt and Street traction control, ABS, way too many cool things. Including passenger pegs, which mine does not have.


Pure dirt bike with a plate. Uncorked 50+hp and just 234lbs Rips, snorts, breathes fire. Can do but does not like the highway


Best of the Old Guard: DRZ400s (not the SM that’s Super Moto. E model is strictly dirt, no plate)

Reigning Dual Sport champ since 2000.
It’s a little dated and a little heavy by todays standards but tried, tested, and proven awesome.

Honda’s Answer to the KTM: CRF450L

Completely brand new model for 2019. Think my bike but more Honda-ish. Not quite as hard edged but every bit of a badass too. Very much a well rounded motorcycle coupled with Honda rideability and reliability.

King of the Air Cooled Old Guard: XR650L

It’s old, it’s heavy, it’s not as powerful as the others… It’s still a fun bike and will also get you anywhere in the world reliably. They are still excavating used parts from the Giza pyramids so if you need parts in the desert you can find them.

King of the Oil Cooled Old Guard: DR650s
It’s everything that the XR650L is but a Suzuki with oil cooled heads.

Older bikes for used considerations:
DR350SE (1994+ Electric Start)
Later Model KTM LC4 engine bikes (2002 and newer)
This should refresh your Dual Sport knowledge and inform an purchase.
There are a billion other options but again I cannot suggest enough that a dirt bike with a plate is the best investment you can make. Especially since dualsport and adventure riding is only going to get more popular.